War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0652 OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA. Chapter LIX.

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line. Two dispatches had been received from Beauregard to Hampton and Hardee; the one addressed to Hampton seven miles from Lancaster, the other at Cheraw. Captain Lee, of Beauregard's staff, had just passed through. He told the citizens that our Right Wing was swinging around to Cheraw, and that he was taking orders to Hardee to fight and delay our march; that Charleston and Wilmington had been evacuated in order to concentrate troops; that Cheatham and a portion of A. P. Hill's corps had reached Charlotte. Beauregard was still in doubt as to our objective point. My officers are fast learning to be good cavalrymen. All little expeditions sent out have been characterized by that enterprise and dash so requisite to success. Captain Northrop brought away nearly one hundred good horses and mules. This information is reliable. Hampton and his cavalry is near Monroe, and not in General Howard's front. I shall hold the roads to the left of Chesterfield to-morrow night, and will reconnoiter the river as high up as opposite Wadesborough. The impression among citizens and rebel soldiers about Monroe is that Petersburg has been evacuated.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brevet Major-General, Commanding Cavalry.


In the Field, March 2, 1865.


Near Lancaster:

GENERAL: The Twentieth Corps is now starting from Big Lynch's Creek for Chesterfield, twenty miles distant. The Fourteenth Corps is now at Little Lynch's Creek, behind us, and will march by McManus' Bridge toward Chesterfield. General Howard was on the 28th February across Lynch's Creek at Tiller's, and General Blair within sixteen miles of Cheraw. All move on Cheraw, where it is said the Charleston and Wilmington garrisons are expecting to meet us. I don't believe they will fight on this side the Pedee, but you may move on General Davis' near Chesterfield, and by the time you get there I can select the points of crossing, but if there be any enemy at Cheraw he will, of course, break the bridge there and force us to use pontoons, in which case we will probably use Cheraw and Sneedborough. General Howard sent his company of scouts from Tiller's toward the Charleston and Wilmington road, but they met two brigades of cavalry near Mount Elon Post-Office, and were driven back. General. Howard reports Hampton's headquarters at Darlington, but I doubt it. I don't think the enemy would leave his cavalry, or any material part of it, between us and the sea. Doubtless he is watching and using the railroad east and south of us, but to what extent I cannot conjecture until I know whether our people have Wilmington. I suppose Schofield by this time must be on the railroad north of Wilmington, at or near Goldsborough. Keep near General Davis' left and act defensively till we know about Cheraw. I will be with the Twentieth Corps, near Chesterfield, where the Lancaster road meets this, about four miles this side of Chesterfield. I will send infantry to Chesterfield to secure if possible the bridges across Thompson's Creek near that place, to-morrow at Cheraw. You should be to-night on Lynch's Creek, and to-morrow near Chesterfield. Roads